Impact of axis II comorbidity on the course of bipolar illness in men: A retrospective chart review

Joanne H. Kay, Lori L. Altshuler, Joseph Ventura, Jim Mintz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the presence of comorbid personality disorder influences the course of bipolar illness. Metbods: Fifty-two euthymic male bipolar I out-patients were assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-111-R Personality Disorders (SCID 11). Bipolar patients with an axis II diagnosis were compared with those without an axis 11 diagnosis on retrospectively obtained demographic, clinical and course of illness variables. Results: Thirty-eight percent of the bipolar patients met criteria for an axis 11 diagnosis. Two (4%) met criteria for (only) a Cluster A disorder, four (8%) for (only) a Cluster B, and six (120/'o) for (only) a Cluster C disorder. One (2%) bipolar patient met criteria a disorder in both Clusters A and B, and one (2%) for a disorder in Clusters B and C. Five (10%) met criteria for at least one disorder in Clusters A and C, and one met criteria for disorders in Clusters A, B, and C. The presence of a personality disorder was significantly associated with a lower rate of current employment, a higher number of currently prescribed psychiatric medications, and a higher incidence of a history of both alcohol and substance use disorders compared with the bipolar patients without axis II pathology. Conclusions: Our results extend previous findings of an association between comorbid personality disorder in bipolar I patients and factors that suggest a more difficult course of bipolar illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-242
Number of pages6
JournalBipolar disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Illness course
  • Personality disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of axis II comorbidity on the course of bipolar illness in men: A retrospective chart review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this